FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         Contact: Lester Davis
Monday, June 11, 2012        410-396-4804 (office)
  443-835-0784 (mobile)

Mayor Unscrupulously Seeks Credit for Council President’s Good Government Initiative
Young surprised mayor would take credit for a program she initially did not support

– Earlier today you received an email from the Office of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake that incorrectly claims that she alone is responsible for the news that the City’s cable office will begin televising hearings from three important boards – The Municipal Zoning and Appeals Board, Board of Liquor License Commissioners and Board of Estimates.

The truth, in fact, is that the idea to televise these important hearings was the brainchild of Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who along with members of the Council worked for nearly two years to televise these hearings.

And when Council President Young first introduced the idea of increasing transparency by televising these hearings it was the mayor’s administration that balked at having to implement the Council President’s plan.

According to a report in the November 2, 2010 edition of The Baltimore Sun, “finance officials raised objections to the plan at Monday's hearing, saying that there was no guarantee that the $45,000 needed to broadcast the meetings could be found in the cash-strapped city's $1.2 billion budget.

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, who proposed the measure, said that not funding the broadcasts would be a "slap in the face to every citizen in Baltimore."

"It's a little bit of money compared to the millions we give away" in tax incentives to developers, Young said.
"This is something that should be automatic," he said. "There should be no push back from the administration or the finance department," said Young, according to the report in The Sun.

Fast-forward a couple years and you now have a mayor, who was initially uninterested in televising these hearings, suddenly and unscrupulously hijack a cause that had been originally championed by a host of good government advocates and members of the City Council.

This latest attempt by the administration to reject true partnership between the two branches of city government, in an attempt to score cheap media impressions, only furthers the unflattering narrative of an insular and uncooperative administration.

Attached to this email are copies of press releases from 2010 from the Office of the Council President announcing the introduction and ultimate passage of legislation calling for the hearings to be televised.

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